Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign office put out a controversial clip of Thanos’ famous finger snap from the MCU’s Avengers: Infinity War. However, Thanos’ head was replaced with that of Trump, who snaps his fingers erasing members of the Democratic Party.
While the meaning of the message in the clip is fiercely debated, a less impassioned look at the incident highlights just how iconic the figure of Thanos (played in the MCU by actor Josh Brolin) has become. He is so iconic that a presidential campaign office saw an opportunity to utilise his image in a political tussle for the Whitehouse in the US general elections.
Thanos, The MCU & His Growing Popularity
Ever since his creation by Jim Starlin in 1973, when he first appeared in the pages of Invincible Ironman #55, Thanos has been a fascinating character. Since those early days, the Mad Titan’s profile and popularity has risen astronomically.
This rise can be attributed to him being the principal villain in the MCU over the last decade. Thanos has such an appeal even the Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony, admitted that Avengers: Infinity War was, in fact, a Thanos movie, him being the actual star and focus of the MCU film.
They made the bold decision to tell the story from his perspective, stating “We thought it was fascinating to tell the story from the point of view of a villain…it offers a unique insight into villains and how they think.” Indeed this was the case and Josh Brolin’s world-class portrayal of the character only made the supervillain more fascinating, cementing his place in pop culture.
So, How Powerful is Thanos?
Thanos is a Titan, a race of superhumans also known as Eternals from the planet Titan. He is a mutant with superhuman strength, speed and stamina.
Thanos has immense power. In the comics, he is one of the most powerful beings there is. His incredible strength is matched only by his genius. In the comics, Thanos’ vast knowledge of science helped him attain even greater power, increasing his physical power beyond their natural limits.
So powerful is Thanos that he is able to wield the infinity gauntlet.
We saw Tony die as a result of the gauntlet and Hulk suffered serious injuries attempting the same. Only the most powerful beings can channel its awesome power.
And then we haven’t even mentioned his weapons or the Sanctuary II either.
Is Thanos More Powerful Than The Hulk?
Some commentators and Marvel fans like the Russo’s even confess that Thanos is more powerful than the MCU’s Hulk. As unlikely as this sounds it could be that Thanos, due to his greater cerebral abilities can outwit and outsmart Hulk. He seemed to do just that when the two battled on the Asgardian spaceship in Avengers: Infinity War, using his superior fighting skills to beat Hulk in hand to hand combat.
While the comics do not give a definitive answer as to who is stronger, we do know that Thanos is so powerful that he can get into a fistfight with the Hulk and stand his ground.
But He is More Than Super Strength.
It’s not only Thanos’ physical attributes that makes him such a magnetic personality. Yes, his physical power adds to his appeal, but it is his psychology and motivation for what he does that solicits admiration, often against our will.
Furthermore, the manner in which he executes these motivations, a deadly but compelling combination of brute strength and genius.
In the MCU, Thanos’ goal was to wipe out half of all life in the universe. This insane desire was achieved with methodical precision, culminating in him obtaining all six infinity stones and using it to achieve his goal. With unwavering tenacity, self-belief and indomitable will, Thanos managed to overcome all the odds and triumph.
Even if his plan was evil, his absolute conviction in his vision and himself was surely admirable at least on some level.
In some way, Thanos is like a father figure, a self-appointed father of the universe, if you will. The powerful hold Thanos wields over Nebula is a fine example. So too with Gamora whose assassination attempt on her guardian on the planet Knowhere showed her with remorse and in some respects regretting her decision to end the life of her father.
Gamora and Nebula, as well as the Black Order, all have at some point shown blind allegiance to Thanos. His strong personality and desire to shield those he cares for gives the evil genius a paternal quality, something which causes his followers to flock to him.
Oh, and no, that Spider-Man: No Way Home spell wouldn’t have worked on Thanos. I doubt any of Doctor Strange’s magic spells could have any major effect on the character.
Also, before you go suggesting the Red Skull, Thanos would dominate the Red Skull in just about every scenario too. He is that powerful.
Why We Secretly Love The Mad Titan
Many fans perhaps experience this unwitting desire as well, subconsciously succumbing to the powerful, authoritarian spell Thanos casts over everyone. Though we despise Thanos for killing those we love, we also are drawn to his desire to protect. He seeks to protect the universe and will do everything in his power to do so. In some way, this can seem noble, as Thanos would see it.
This aspect of the character is brought to the fore on the Garden, the peaceful planet Thanos retires to after using the gauntlet to wipe out half of all life in the universe. Here he is presented as a farmer, caring and protecting the environment after having saved trillions from total extinction. From his perspective, it took great sacrifice and self-denial to reach this point.
These complex and paradoxical aspects of his character are what makes him fascinating. He is powerful and self-assured, things we can’t help but admire and be drawn to. He reaches for the ultimate levels of control and has the grandest most ambitious desires.
Thanos walks a fine line between saviour and destroyer, father and murderer. In all of it, we the viewers of the films or readers of the comics are simultaneously enthralled and repelled.
Like Nebula and Gamora, we can trust that someone is there to keep us safe and seek what is best for us while doing all in their power to shield and protect us even if that someone is murderous, genocidal maniac.
So how powerful is Thanos? Very. He is definitely one of the most powerful MCU characters ever!
MCU Thanos vs. Comic Thanos: What’s the Difference?
Ever since Thanos’ first MCU appearance in 2012’s The Avengers, comic book fans knew what was coming for Disney’s newest cinematic universe. The Infinity Stones and Thanos are as inseparable in the movies as they are in the comics – that said, some pieces of Thanos’ backstory were omitted in the films, for better or for worse.
While he is veritably a “Mad Titan” in both versions, the comic book rendition of Thanos remains as the more substantial force of destruction of the two. However, let’s not forget that Thanos’ first appearance in the comics happened all the way back in 1973, which means that the character has had over forty years to develop an arc compared to the MCU’s seven years.
Comics’ Thanos publication history, being as long as it is, has made some alterations to the character and his powers. Instead of being merely a Titan, Thanos is an Eternal in the comics, which gives him an entire arsenal of new abilities to face his adversaries.
Instead of relying on brute force and an army to accomplish his objectives, comic Thanos uses everything from energy blasts to force fields. He’s also delved in sorcery for a while, which would make him stand his way more efficiently over opponents like Doctor Strange.
Perhaps the most significant difference between comic and movie Thanos comes from their choice of allies. While the Black Order also follows Thanos’ commands in the comics, there’s an ally that’s been more or less Thanos’ fascination since he was very young: Lady Death.
As the name implies, Lady Death is the personification of the concept of death itself. Genderless by nature, Marvel’s version of the Grim Reaper usually presents itself as a skeletal woman. More importantly, she’s been Thanos’ crush for the longest time, and he’s proven that he would do anything to please her.
Thanos’ backstory in the comics is much more violent than in the MCU. While the movies hinted at Thanos’ bloody past, the events that turned him into the “Mad Titan” are much more graphic in the pages of Marvel Comics.
Some versions of Thanos’ backstory have him killing his entire race (including his own mother) to appease Lady Death. While their relationship isn’t reciprocal, Lady Death still believes that Thanos is destined to do great things, and to achieve them, he’ll have to become a god.
Movie Thanos is much less mystical than his printed counterpart. For starters, the MCU operates much closer to reality than the comic books – even if they have an alien threat every other day. As such, some mystical elements have been severely toned down in favour of a more sci-fi approach to most characters.
A perfect example of this is Thor’s race of Asgardians, which have been downgraded to aliens rather than actual deities. Along the same lines, some supernatural characters, like Lady Death, have been entirely bypassed in the franchise. However, the MCU movie version of Thanos works perfectly well in this version of the Marvel Universe, considering that his utmost motivation seems to be acquiring the Infinity Stones.
It makes sense for the movie Thanos to desire the Infinity Stones – after all, they have been touted as the ultimate source of power in the MCU. If there’s one thing that both versions of Thanos have in common, that would be their relentless pursuit of power. Now that the MCU seems to be delving ever deeper into the obscure, perhaps we’ll see Lady Death finally make an appearance on the big screen, especially now that Deadpool is set to join the MCU. After all, Deadpool has always had a thing for Lady Death in the comics, much to Thanos’ ire.
Darkseid vs Thanos: Who Would Win In A Fight?
Darkseid and Thanos. Who would win in a Darkseid vs Thanos fight? For some reason, this has been a big thing online lately, and the answer is…
The winner would be Darkseid.
Of course, the result of a fight between Darkseid and Thanos isn’t definite.
There are lots of factors to take in, like for instance exactly which version of the characters we’re talking about, their abilities at the time (for instance if Darkseid was using the Anti-Life Equation and his mighty Omega beam blasts, and if Thanos has the Infinity gems), how the event or story was told, by whom… and a whole lot more.
But pound for pound, Darkseid would most likely win out.
It wouldn’t be an easy fight, by any means… after all, we’re talking about two of the biggest heavy hitters out there. Thanos once knocked Galactus for a loop. Meanwhile, Darkseid has been so powerful that he could physically drag the multiverse itself into oblivion and could practically juggle planets. At the end of the day though, it probably would go to Darkseid.
Or maybe Thanos.
Now, if the fight were a pie-eating contest or a karaoke competition, the result might be different. For the record, Darkseid sings karaoke like Tom Jones… and yes, that’s really been shown in the comics.
The statement about the pie-eating and karaoke may sound like a juvenile, throwaway statement, but it isn’t. The question alone of “who would win” is vague and the matter of “who would win IN A FIGHT” is understandably debatable. For all their power and all their stunning victories, they’ve also both suffered some spectacularly embarrassing losses. They’ve had their asses kicked by some of the most underrated and surprising characters out there. Sometimes those incidents might have been meant as a joke, but other times they’ve been completely valid. For example…
In the case of Thanos, he was notoriously beaten by Squirrel Girl. Not the combined might of the whole Marvel comics or cinematic universe with Squirrel Girl. No. Just Squirrel Girl – who has the amazing abilities of both a squirrel and a girl. Well, she doesn’t have the reputation of being “unbeatable” for nothing and all credit to her. Thanos was also beaten by Deadpool once, too. You know him, the merc with a mouth, two swords and a gun. And let’s not forget that time when Thanos was soundly defeated by the overwhelming team-up of Spider-Man, Hellcat… and a little kid with no powers who basically did all the work for the heroes.
Since that particular tale also featured Thanos flying around in his cringe-worthy ThanosCopter, and saw him being dragged off to prison in handcuffs by regular New York beat cops like he’s a common shoplifter… well, suddenly he doesn’t look all that tough to beat. Definitely not his finest hour.
As for Darkseid, fans may know him as DC’s powerhouse villain but they’re also used to seeing him get pounded on by the likes of Superman pretty regularly. But how about that time when Batman simply… shot him? Or the time when the mighty mite known as the Atom shrank down, literally got inside Darkseid’s head and destroyed his brain from the inside? How about Doomsday beating seven colours of snot out of him? If those heroes are too high-profile for you, maybe check out the time when he was stripped of his power and beaten up by a simple gang of alleyway muggers.
Oh, and Ambush Bug defeated him too in a fight that lasted mere seconds. Fair enough, technically Darkseid, in that case, turned out to be an inflatable doll of the ruler of Apokolips, but a win is a win even if it’s tongue-in-cheek… and the real Darkseid did hang out with him later. Or maybe go back and watch the finale of the Justice league Unlimited cartoon, in which he’s ultimately stopped by the business suit-wearing Lex Luthor, who simply out-smarts him. Likewise, back in comics, Mister Miracle’s sidekick Oberon once achieved what the Justice League couldn’t by stopping Darkseid just by chatting with him.
So much for them being cosmic bad-asses. And that’s the point.
It doesn’t matter how tough they are, Darkseid and Thanos are only as powerful as the plot demands them to be at the time.
The debate about Darkseid vs Thanos is a modern-day playground discussion. As kids, many of us have engaged in “Who would win?” scenarios of our favourite characters, arguing who’s the best superhero or supervillain, and who would win in fights. Questions like “Who’s faster – Flash or Superman?” and “Who’s stronger, Thor or the Hulk?” would keep us going for days.
And, for the record, traditionally the Flash is faster on foot; he’s the fastest man alive, after all… except for whatever speedster villain he’s usually struggling to catch during any given week.
These “Who would win?” arguments aren’t just all about comic books either, with some topics seemingly ridiculous to those who don’t care about them. Like whether the USS Enterprise of the Millennium Falcon is the better ship, for instance. It can sound silly to an outsider, but, to those who are fans, it can mean a great deal.
Discussions like this are what fans do, regardless of what their interests are… or their age. Debates like this aren’t just for kids. Sports fans argue the merits of teams and athletes of yesteryear, and what the outcome would be if they were ever to square off in some hypothetical clash. Would Rocky Marciano have beaten Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali? Could Brazil’s 1970 world Cup-winning team have beaten their 2002 counterparts? Sports fans of all ages debate these questions all the time.
The joy, however, is that with comic books being a fictional medium, there’s always the possibility that fan speculation can be answered at some point in an actual crossover. Just as movies have had match-ups like King Kong vs. Godzilla, Alien vs. Predator and Freddy Krueger vs. Jason Vorhees, there have also been crossover comic books. DC, Marvel and other companies have occasionally allowed their characters to interact or fight at times. But like with movies, many of the superhero battles have had to result in some kind of disappointing ultimate stalemate by the end of them. Maybe a Darkseid and Thanos would be too.
The true entertainment gained from match-ups isn’t from seeing an actual winner, because deep down that isn’t really what most fans want at the end of the day; to receive a definitive answer about who’s best or who would win would mean the speculation ends – and no fan wants that, even if it proves their theory correct. Instead, any actual enjoyment there is from seeing the crossover exist in the first place, not the resolution of it.
So, Who Would Win the Darkseid vs Thanos Fight?
Some would say, it’s nothing more than wild speculation, a juvenile argument with no actual answer that’s spilt from the playground onto the internet; some people are taking it too seriously while others point and laugh at how silly it seems to them. But it’s always worth remembering that we’re all fans of something, and it’s fun to play What If? sometimes.
Personally, I know who I believe should win in a Darkseid vs Thanos fight.
That doesn’t make them better or the best though, because I also know that in any given story they could just as easily be beaten by a girl and her squirrels, a kid on a skateboard or a Schwab with antennae on his head. Still, it’s always good to imagine the possibilities…
Hulk Is Thanos’ Attack Dog In Marvel’s Thanos Wins Comic Book
Those who have been following Marvel Legacy’s Thanos comic book series will know that the Mad Titan has conquered the Marvel Universe and now reigns over the cosmos with Ghost Rider and his big green dog by his side. In the Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw series, it seems he has made the Incredible Hulk his not so incredible attack dog. If that isn’t heartbreaking and horrific enough, the parental advisory comic reveals that Hulk was also forced to eat Captain America.
Released on February 28, 2018, the synopsis of Thanos #15 reads:
As King Thanos and his Rider prepare to face the coming forces of the Fallen One, he surveys the Universe he’s dominated… just a king and his dog. His big… green… dog…
Of course, we shouldn’t expect any of this storyline to make its way into the Cinematic Universe. It’s far too grim and dark. For now, comic book readers will patiently wait until Hulk gets his revenge on Thanos. As the saying goes, every dog has its day.
Thanos Shattered A Moon But Captain Marvel Can Move Planets
When Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel first joined the Marvel Avengers films, many believed that Thanos would finally meet his match in Carol Danvers.
Brie Larson even revealed the staggering scale of her character’s abilities, “She’s so strong – she can move planets. So, for me, it was like, how far can I go with this strength? All of the hype will be worth it.”
Samuel L. Jackson even teased that Captain Marvel’s powers will be like nothing we have ever seen before, and are the key to defeating Thanos and undoing “The Snap”.
Even Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo warned that “Just from a pure power standpoint and what her [Captain Marvel’s] abilities are… She is as powerful, if not more powerful, than Thor – and you suddenly have hope again.”
Many believed that the MCU’s Carol Danvers could singlehandedly take on Thanos. That wasn’t the case though. In fact, The Mad Titan stood his ground against Captain Marvel and all the Avengers (including Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Thor) combined. He wasn’t a pushover at all — not even against Scarlet Witch.
Is The MCU Thanos a Good Guy?
In one of the episodes of Disney+’s Hawkeye, there’s a bathroom graffiti that offers us a glimpse at how the non-superpowered people of the Marvel Universe see one of the biggest events that ever happened to the MCU. The scribble reads “Thanos was right.” From an outside point of view, we know that this sentiment must be categorically wrong – after all, Thanos is a villain. Right?
Philosophers like Nietzsche rejected the idea of “evil” and all of its connotations, believing that the label could be something dangerous for our civilization. However, being right or wrong doesn’t make one good or evil: even if whoever wrote that graffiti thinks that the Snap was the right thing to do, arguing that it was a “good” thing is much harder to do.
The short answer to the question of “is Thanos a good guy” would be a resounding “no.” Thanos himself never saw himself as a hero within the realm of the MCU, thinking that what he did was something of a necessary evil – an atrocious act done for the greater good. In Thanos’ case, we can’t even say that the end justifies the means, as we saw what happened after the Snap, and it wasn’t pretty at all.
Thanos’ plan of eradicating half of all life (the entire universe) in order to preserve natural resources is flawed from the start. Erasing half of the species wouldn’t solve most of the issues that the remaining half would face. Evidence of this is seen during the first half of Avengers: Endgame: the world is in a state of total disarray and abandonment.
The idea that half the population would enjoy twice the resources sounds great – for a while. Whenever populations have an exceeding amount of assets at their disposal, the growth rates of said groups skyrocket. This would mean that Thanos’ ultimate plan was, at best, a temporary solution to an unavoidable conclusion.
Even worse is that, in order to ensure no one could undo the Snap, Thanos destroyed the Infinity Stones. Let’s suppose for a second that, with time, Thanos realises the flaws of his master plan: he’d then be left without any means to reverse the damage he’s already caused.
One thing to keep in mind is that there are two very different versions of Thanos during Infinity War and Endgame: one of them, present Thanos, has experienced the death of the person he loves most and became a shadow of his former self in the process. The other is the embodiment of the “Mad Titan:” a ruthless conqueror that comes to the conclusion that the only way to save the universe is to start from a clean slate – even if it means killing every single organism in the cosmos.
Infinity War Thanos could be considered somewhat of a tragic villain: a powerful conqueror with a messianic complex that has convinced himself that he is the good guy of the story. On the other hand, Endgame Thanos is a cartoon villain by comparison: he’s much less nuanced than what he was in the previous film, becoming what we expect from the average superhero movie.
In the end, neither version of Thanos could be considered a good guy. An egomaniac that believes that the ends justify the means is dangerous enough, even more so when he has the ability to wipe away half the universe with a single snap. It just goes to show that, no matter how viciously evil a message or an ideology may be, there will always be someone out there that agrees with it – and that’s the scariest thing about evil.
Deleted MCU Scene Hints At The Return Of Thanos
Avengers: Endgame finally saw the end of Thanos – the gauntlet wielding, super-villain who temporarily disseminated half of all life in the universe.
Thanos was defeated twice – first by Thor with Stormbreaker, then by Iron Man with the Infinity Gauntlet (although the latter was a past version of the villain).
But what if he’s not actually dead?
A deleted scene from Avengers: Endgame suggests that Thanos could return after being killed at the end of the MCU film.
The scene features an alternate version of the conversation between The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). In the scene, she explains that removing an Infinity Stone creates a new timeline, but then adds something that didn’t make it to the final cut of the movie.
She tells him that she used the Time Stone to see beyond her lifetime, revealing that Thanos’ snap in the MCU didn’t permanently destroy half the universe. Thanos just “willed them out of existence”, which means they could be resurrected.
The dialogue from the scene goes like this…
“If someone dies, they will always die. Death is irreversible, but Thanos is not. Those you’ve lost are not dead. They’ve been willed out of existence, which means they can be willed back. But it doesn’t come cheap.”
By that same logic, Thanos hasn’t been permanently eliminated. He was simply willed out of existence when Tony Stark used the Infinity Gauntlet to reverse the snap. This would mean Tony probably sacrificed himself for nothing.
But while it’s theoretically possible for someone to travel through time, collect all the stones and bring back Thanos to life, it’s also worth noting that the scene was deleted for a reason.
According to commentary by directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the scene was reshot to create more conflict between The Hulk and the Ancient One. They also thought the deleted scene was overly complicated. It’s also possible that the scene was altered to avoid creating a loophole for Thanos to return in the MCU.
Either way, it probably won’t be the last time Marvel Studios uses the character.
Doctor Strange 2 Reveals A Different Thanos
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also hints at the fact that there are multiple Thanos’ in the universe — possibly one for each timeline or multiverse. And he has been defeated in many different ways. Could there be a universe where he remains in power? Could he return? Will he be even bigger, smarter and more ruthless? We’ll have to wait and see.
What is true is that Thanos is inevitable — something he says before he is killed by Thor at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame and when he returns later on (with his sword). Perhaps Thanos is inevitable across multiple timelines and multiverses. And if he found a way — like Wanda did — to travel across multiverses, he could very well achieve his goal again and wipe out half of existence.
Then there’s the other thing… In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we see that the character was killed by the Illuminati. If Marvel ever decides to do films in different multiverses, Thanos could very well show up again or at least pose a new threat to our heroes. If there are an infinite number of different Thanos beings, there are an infinite number of threats.
Thanos is such a deep and interesting character, that I, personally, wouldn’t mind seeing him again — even in a tale that tells his own story.
Would you like to see Thanos return in future MCU movies?
Of course, Thanos is only one of many powerful beings in the MCU. A few more powerful characters are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe soon.